Cisco Network Monitoring Tools

Cisco Network Monitoring Tools & Software

Understanding Cisco Network Monitoring Tools is a system built for the purpose of monitoring the network and seeing the network traffic conditions. So if you find suspicious network traffic, the administrator can apply several actions / precautions first. For the condition of the network to remain safe.

Without us knowing there are several computer viruses that can use network networking on a computer. For that networking monitoring is highly recommended. Fortunately, the organization has monitored (and kept records of) all traffic through data centers and from their Cisco Devices. After combing the logs, we found a problem (denial of service attacks) and restored access to the data center.

Problem solving is one reason to monitor your network as evidence of that personal story.
  • Performance monitoring: Monitoring can help you determine whether your network is performing optimally or if there is network congestion (eg at certain times of the day).
  • Intrusion Detection: If you continue to fail to try to log in, it can mean someone is trying to enter your network. Also, a sudden surge in network traffic can indicate an attack. You will only detect this attack if you monitor your network.
  • Network planning: By monitoring your network, you can determine which parts of your network will be upgraded. For example, by storing accurate inventory, you will be ready to change an outdated device (end of life). You can also plan for better service quality (QoS) that must be applied to various types of traffic.

What Should Monitor?

It is important to note that even though you can monitor all devices on your network (including workstations), you might not want to. For example, you might not have the capacity to manage all data / logs generated by many devices on your network. Ideally, you should monitor important devices on your network eg Internet Edge Router / Firewall. 

For example, it is a common practice for banks with multiple ATM branches to monitor peripheral devices in the branches to detect when there is a problem and fix it immediately. In this article, we will talk specifically about monitoring Cisco devices including routers (eg Cisco 2900 Series ISRs), switches (eg Cisco Catalyst 3650 switches), security devices (eg Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) 5500-X series ) and wireless devices (e.g. Cisco Aironet 1830 Series Access Point).

There are various protocols that help in monitoring networks including:

  • SNMP: In a simple network management protocol it operates using an agent-manager model. SNMP can be used to "get" and "regulate" information and is probably the most widely used monitoring protocol.
  • ICMP: Message Protocol Control The internet is mostly used to determine the range of network devices that are using ping, although it can provide other information such as delays.
  • Syslog: Syslog is used to send logs (eg interface up / down) to Syslog servers.
  • RADIUS and TACACS +: Although these two protocols can be used for other things such as authentication and authorization, they also provide good accounting features (log). RADIUS is an industry standard while TACACS + is Cisco's property.
  • NetFlow: NetFlow is a Cisco-developed protocol that is used to collect information about traffic flows on the network. Even though it was developed by Cisco, it is also supported by other vendors and is available in other industry / vendor-specific variants such as IPFIX and J-Flow.
  • IP SLA: IP Service Level Agreement is a Cisco proprietary feature of Cisco IOS software that simulates various types of network data between several devices to measure performance such as jitter, delay, connectivity, and packet loss.
  • CDP: Cisco Discovery Protocol is Cisco's protocol that is used to obtain information about devices that are directly connected.
  • Telnet and SSH: Using Telnet or SSH, a network engineer or monitoring tool can remotely enter the device and run a monitoring command (eg Show the interface on a Cisco router).

The Best Cisco Network Monitor in 2019

Although it is possible to monitor network devices manually (eg Login using SSH and run show / debug commands), it is usually better and easier to use tools that have been made for this purpose. These tools will not only do things that are hard for you (eg Automatically run Cisco commands), they also provide great reports and in some cases offer resolution options.

Solarwinds NPM can only be installed on Windows operating systems and is available as a free online download or 30 day trial that can be downloaded.

Download Cisco Network Monitoring Tools :

Cisco Network Monitoring 
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NPM Solarwinds with Network Insights for ASA

Solarwinds NPM is one of the most powerful network monitoring tools available on the market and supports Cisco devices (among other vendors). Some of the features it supports include: Availability, Performance, and Health Monitoring: Determines whether the device (interface) goes up or down, looks at device performance (eg bandwidth utilization) and also gets information about various health parameters such as CPU utilization and temperature.

  • Troubleshooting: Analysis of hop-by-hop from devices and applications along the critical path.
  • Network discovery: Dynamically find network devices on the network.
  • Event Reporting: Provides warnings about what is happening on the network.
  • Screenshot of the Cisco 5500 Series Dashboard
Their latest NPM release includes Network Insights for ASA, which gives you a deeper and more detailed view of your ASA devices directly from the dashboard. Their latest version features include:

  • Total visibility to your ASA Environment and Infrastructure
  • Monitor the Health and Performance of ASA Devices including Network Intefaces (Wan, Lan, DMZ, etc.), Context, ACL (access control list), and more!
  • Monitoring and Visibility of infrastructure and VPN connectivity to ensure active time between location and end point.
  • Firewall monitoring ensures Health, Security, HA and more.
Solarwinds uses a variety of protocols for monitoring networks but most depend on SNMP. It also uses ICMP for interface availability.